grocery game monthly challenge

10 Affordable Meatless Meals To Help Shrink Your Grocery Bill : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 May 2-8

 Affordable Meatless Meals

BALANCE THE MEAL PLAN TO HELP BALANCE YOUR BUDGET

 

Meatless meals have become a regular on our menu plan not only for the savings but because we enjoy the simplicity of a veg dish with simple alternate proteins other than meat and fish.

That might sound a bit awkward to someone who doesn’t use a grocery budget but for our family a budget is essential to keeping us accountable for the food that we purchase.

 

Meatless meal day is any day

 

If you aren’t already aware there is a day dedicated to meatless meals and that day is Monday. Just because it sounds good though doesn’t mean you are required to forgo meat on a Monday. After a weekend of comfort food with the family a Meatless Monday is a nice way to start the week but it’s also a nice way to end the week or slow it down in the middle.

What I love about ditching the meat once or twice a week is that I can batch cook easy meatless meals and enjoy leftovers the next day. I’m not a huge fan of re-heated meat especially if it is a steak, chicken, roast beef, pork steak or any meat that will dry out once it’s cold. I’ll eat it, but I might not enjoy it like I did when it was freshly cooked.

I find any type of mince meat or sausages bulks my dinner meals for work so I tend to favour those proteins. Both mince and sausage vary in price weekly depending on sales and like everything else we’ve seen an increase in meat prices over the past 2 years.

The wife and I decided a couple of years back to stick to at least one meatless meal a week. We would typically eat meat of some description every day. Once we found out that we could save up to $400 or more each year by going meatless just one day a week we were hooked.

Even though we eat less meat we still needed to replace the protein with nutritious eggs or pulses (Beans). We became hooked on beans so much that we were buying bags of dry chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans and lentils to also help save grocery money. If you’ve never had a vegetarian black bean burger put it on your recipe list. It’s flavourful, filling and you don’t miss the meat.

Buying dry beans and rehydrating them yourself may save money but if you want the convenience factor canned beans are just as delicious. You’ll pay more but you get the instant gratification of beans on demand.

Other ways we save money on meatless meals is to buy in season, shop local markets during the growing season or grow your own vegetables. Take the opportunity to visit at the end of the market day to find reduced produce when farmers want to get rid of their pickings.

Ditch the sugar and go for natural alternatives such as fresh honey from a local market or honey producer. I’m still a sugar guy with my coffee and when I bake but that’s about it these days unless it’s specific for a recipe. You’ll pay a fraction of what you will pay in-store for market honey and you know it will be the good stuff.

Growing herbs is another great way to save money because herbs can be pricey to buy at the grocery store but they add so much flavour to a meal. We’ve made basil pesto just about every year from herbs we’ve grown in the garden. Sometimes herbs grow in such an abundance don’t be shy to mix in different greens when you make a pesto. One of our favourites is chives, spring onion, garlic, parsley, basil and almond, walnuts or pine nuts.

 

Creating Meatless Meals

 

Our meatless dinner ideas took some collaboration with the wife which meant that we would experiment to find out what we enjoyed. Over the years we’ve managed to grow our free recipe index on Canadian Budget Binder with some of the best recipes to come out of our kitchen. There have been many lazy kitchen days where we stick to simple salads or even take to Pinterest because there are so many inspirations to get the creative cooking juices flowing.

Today I want to showcase meatless meals from CBB and other amazing Food Bloggers from my Pinterest feed that are affordable and easy meatless meals for just about any income-level. You don’t have to go broke to eat well!!

A few of my awesome fans wanted to share their Meatless Meals with all of you so they wrote in to tell you just how important going meatless is for their grocery budget.

Donna PBeans & fried potatoes can’t be beat! I also prefer fried okra instead of meat which I dice in coins and roll in seasoned cornmeal. Fry until brown and crispy.Veggie burgers are my favorite.

Christine WPotato cheese omelette and homemade mac and cheese with peas are the go to here. Cheese is a great thing to add to any meat free meal here or one with meat. My boys love cheese!!

Here is a recent meatless omelette that we made in the CBB house!

baked frittata with mozzarella and fennel greens(1)

Colleen K. – Chickenless Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine is a favorite here. Dice a small onion and saute in olive oil, add 3 heaping tablespoons of chicken soup base, 1 can of mushrooms in juice, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 soup can of milk, heat thoroughly, add a couple good dollops of sour cream and stir in. Serve over cooked Fettuccine noodles. We make this to help save on the meat bill….a tasty dish that is cheap to make.

Beth AnneI go meatless at least 3 days each week, usually more, because it’s the only way I can stay within my food budget. Roasted Asparagus is one of many meatless meals on my blog.

roasted asparagus

10 Easy meatless meals

 

Challenge yourself in the kitchen and try something new because sticking with the same recipes week after week gets boring. Awaken your taste-buds and bring lots of new flavours to your plate.

Meatless Lentil Sloppy Joes are a wonderful alternative to the original beef Sloppy Joe. I used green lentils which are heartier and stand up to the mush test. If you love to bake make your own baps and fill them with your lentils topped with whatever you fancy. Even our son loves this recipe.

Related: Scottish Baps

meatless lentil sloppy joe

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower is to die for. If you haven’t tried this yet it’s a must to add to your meatless meals recipe box. The sweetness from the honey paired with the smokey baked taste of the cauliflower make this the perfect pair.

honey garlic baked cauliflower

These Vegetarian Zucchini Meatballs spell comfort food that you must try. We make a similar recipe at home but with eggplant and beef to help cut the amount of beef we use. Making meatballs is a labour of love but when you take that first bite you’ll be happy you did it.

Related: Eggplant Meatballs with half the meat

vegetarian zucchini meatballs

Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

I’ve never tried this recipe but the minute I saw it I knew it was something we would try in our house since we love black beans. They are so versatile that you can squish them to create patties or stuff them into just about anything.

black bean stuffed peppers

Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats

I’ll be trying a variation of this recipe for the wife and I’ll let you know what they turned out like. This photo is drool-worthy for any foodie.

Mexican zuchini burrito boats

The Best Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

This is a popular recipe on our blog and one that took me ages to perfect as it’s not easy to crisp up sweet potatoes in the oven without burning them to death. We don’t eat these often enough since they take some time to bake however when we do it’s a real treat. I’m almost certain our son will love them.

seasoned-sweet-potato-fries-1-wm

Sweet Thai Fish Cakes

This is a simple fish cake that can be made when you are in a pinch for time. You can buy a bottle of pre-made sweet Thai dipping sauce in the International aisle at your grocer.

Mr.CBB's Thai Fish Cakes

Broccoli Rice Casserole

I love my rice and broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables so this recipe was a must for me to share with you today. It would be perfect as a main meal or as a side-dish for dinner and takes hardly any time at all to make. If you don’t fancy white rice you could substitute wild rice or brown rice instead.

broccoli and rice casserole

Mushroom Marsala Gnocchi

I’ve made homemade gnocchi in the past and they are delicious, inexpensive and easy to make. Once they are in a pot of hot boiling water they take minutes to float to the top. The sauce is what will make or break your gnocchi as they are little potato dumplings without much flavour at all. Mushroom Marsala…that says it all. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

mushroom marsala gnocchi

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

The fans of the What’s For Dinner thread on Facebook were just chatting about tortellini the other day. Many people enjoy tortellini as a pasta dish however you can add it to your favourite broth to create a lovely soup. I’ve never made a creamy tomato based soup for tortellini but I have incorporated them into many other soups. You can buy tortellini in 1lb bags for roughly $1.99 in the freezer section at your grocer.

 

creamy tomato tortellini soup

Overall, eating vegetarian or meatless meals has worked for our budget in the past and we hope to carry the Meatless Meal once a week, every week. (Or at least I will)

These days the wife is enjoying opposite of the vegetarian menu since she has been on a low-carb high fat diet also known as the Atkins Diet since November 2015. This means she consumes more meat and small portions of mostly green vegetables which has made it a bit more challenging to stick to our grocery budget. It’s possible but takes work which we have been committed to doing. .

If you want to be a Deal Sniffer the best way to start your journey is to create your budget, meal plan and start deal hunting.

What are some of your favourite meatless meals?

 

May Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016

 

Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10 Canadian. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.

April GGC Winner! Congratulations to Ballot #28 Christine W. Please email me your address.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.

May Grocery Game Posts

This is a new month which means this is the first post for May.

 

Free Money Saving Tools 2016

 

I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.

 

Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016

 

the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken over 4 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

 

2016 Grocery Shop Results

 

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$235.00-$8.50=$226.50
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $226.50
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $50
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 149,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Over 700,000 points (I will update this twice a year)

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $8.00

 

Grocery Shop This Week

 

Food Basics

  • 3 x Schneider’s Red Hots $1.79
  • 2 x Schneider’s Oktoberfest Sausages $1.79 each
  • 4 x dozen eggs $1.99
  • 2x Beatrice Homo Milk $5.27
  • Cauliflower $1.77
  • Bananas $1.57
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.99
  • Spinach Bucket $4.99
  • Mushrooms 1lb $0.99
  • Zucchini $2.00
  • 5pk Avocado $2.99
  • Apple Juice low sodium $0.99

Total Out-of-pocket $44.75

Zehrs

  • 6 x Clover Leaf tuna Sale $0.99 each
  • 8 x Natrel 1L Lactose Free Cream Reduced $1.00-50% off  🙂
  • 2 x Smithfield Bacon $3.99 each
  • 2lbs minced beef $8.05

Total Out-of-pocket $25.97

  • Total to spend this month : $226.50
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $21.60 $0.75 left
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $5.60
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $226.93
  • Total spent this week: $70.72
  • Total spent so far this month: $70.72
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $155.78
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

It was a small grocery shop to start the month but we have enough food around the house that we need to get through. Our son has been hardly eating anything so we’ve struggled to find foods he will eat. Most days he wants to drink his milk and have a few bites of something here and there.

He’s the type of kid who only eats when he’s hungry. He doesn’t want to be put in front of a meal and be told to eat. He won’t eat it. He once loved cheese and grapes and now he won’t eat it. He used to eat cereal and oatmeal but wants nothing to do with it now. We’ll keep trying.

A couple of you pointed out that prices were on the way down for some grocery store items such as bananas and other produce. The time of year is coming where should expect to see a fall in prices given the vast amount of produce rolling through the stores and markets.

That’s all for this week…

Mr.CBB

 

Coupons and Coupon Apps 2016

 

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2016?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.

 

Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s

 

  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2016!

Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.

-Mr.CBB

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Week 18 – Apri 29 – May 5, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1800
    Total Out Of Pocket: $29.99 (Include Stockpile)

    Human
    1.89 L Breyer’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream = $3.78
    4 Peppers (package) – (800 PC Points) = $4.00
    2 lb Mini Carrots = $2.97
    10 lb Russet Potatoes – (400 PC Points) = $2.00
    Bananas – 1.015 Kg = $1.28
    2 Pkg Weiners – $5.49 (PM No Frills @ $2.00) = $4.00
    2 Maple Leaf Bacon – (600 PC Points) = $5.96
    Thomas Cinnamon Raisin Bread – $4.49 (PM No Frills @ $2.00) = $2.00
    2 Wonder WW Bread = $2.99 (PM No Frills @ $2.00) = $4.00

    Cats
    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1890.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $23.99
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $0
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $529.39

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: 11.23
    Total Cats to Date: $127.23

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $6.00
    Total Stockpile to Date: $99.18

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $4.27
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $127.13

    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $125.89

    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $0
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $4.00

    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $4.09

    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week Period: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $10.00

    Total Snap rebates this Week Period: $0.00
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $11.45
    Total Price Match to Date: $110.16

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1800
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 18190

    Overview: This should only take about a swallow from a cuppa. Another small shop but then again my budget isn’t allowing large shops.

    • Hi Dee,
      You scored a great deal on the potatoes with those points. It’s about time the hotdogs start going down in price, wow. I can’t bring myself to pay almost $6.00 for a pack that I know goes on sale for under $2.. uh! Our son loves hotdogs. Just out of curiosity but in the summer do you buy your vegetables at the market? Can you get deals when the market closes on bread and veg? Great shop. You get ballot #1 for MAY! Mr.CBB

      • I won’t buy hot dogs if they are full price, that’s ridiculous. I buy some of my vegetables at the market and if I can, I do go out near the end of the day. I typically can deals because I’m a “vendor” but most people can get deals during the last 30 minutes to 1 hour because the vendors don’t want to take their goods home.

  2. Thanks for the recipes! We try and go meatless once a week too. It is interesting when you take the time to figure out what you can save…$400.00 is a good chunk of change to add to your savings.

    • For some families that savings is much higher depending on how much meat they eat every week. It all adds up, plus we don’t NEED to eat meat every day.

  3. Mary F Campbell says:

    2016 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults

    ==========================================================================================

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    Before we start our MAY shopping off though, I am going to make my usual monthly “reserve” transfers:

    Grocery:

    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 68.72) Overage from APRIL
    ($ 11.28) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 20.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 25.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $65.00

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    This is a LOW SHOP WEEK – nasty over spending last month mean that May is going to be a really lean shopping month! 🙁

    The following rain checks are EXPIRING UNUSED this week:

    Safeway:

    2 Whole Fryer Chickens @ $1.99/lb – Good until May 4/16
    12 Motts Clamato Juice 945-960 ml @ $1.00 ea – Good until May 6/16
    12 Motts Clamato Juice 945-960 ml @ $1.00 ea – Good until May 8/16

    Hubby also got me a NEW rain check this week:

    Save On Foods

    2 x WF Skipjack Tuna 6-pack @ $5.99 each – Good until May 10/16

    ==========================================================================================

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x Chicken Thighs $8.42 – 50% off = $4.21
    1 x Turkey Steaks $11.01- 50% off = $5.50

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $9.71
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $9.71 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    12 x English Cucumbers @ $0.77 ea = $9.24

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $9.24
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ==========================================================================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE LATER IN 2016.

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $117.96 = $342.67

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46+ Mar $1.00 +Apr $5.23= $26.69

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3 +April 48= 243 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32= 265 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 = 15,100 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0= 0 Points

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar $182.77 + April $255.43 + May ($11.28+$10.00+$10.00+$25.00+11$9.71+$9.24 =$75.23) = $903.95

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 +May $190.00 = $950.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $46.05 AVAILABLE

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 POINTS REDEEMED RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69+ Feb $5.19+ Mar $0.00+ Apr $0.00= $9.88

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 US GROCERY RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar ($45.00-$104.58)+ Apr $45.00+ May $25.00= $100.42

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr ($26.71-32.00)+May $11.28= $58.63

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00 +May $20.00= $158.12

    ==========================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61+ Mar $0.00+Apr $15.00 + May $0.00 + June $0.00= $679.11

    ==========================================================================================

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY

    $ 9.88 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 211.69) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 252.34 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 100.42) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 9.88) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 844.18) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 46.05 AVAILABLE Y-T-D SPENDING

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 5.19 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB

    $ 9.88 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    THE VALUE will be added month to month to our Holiday Reserve for next Christmas.

    So far $950.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $426.57 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 58.63 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $158.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $679.11 Summer Season Fund
    $100.42 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 9.88 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,006.16. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $426.57 that we have added in 2016, LESS $356.92 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

    ==========================================================================================

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    2 x 3-packs Romaine Hearts @ $2.50 ea – Good until May 16/16

    2 x 3-packs Romaine Hearts @ $2.50 ea – Good until May 16/16

    2 x Lilydale Fresh Turkey Breast Roasts @ $6.99/lb – Good until June 29/16

    2 x Island Farms 750g 2% Cottage Cheese @ $5.39-50% Off = $2.70 each – Good until July 3/16

    2 x 1 LB Strawberries @ $2.88 each – Good until July 19/16

    Save On Foods:

    2 x WF Skipjack Tuna 6-pack @ $5.99 each – Good until May 10/16

    ==========================================================================================

    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan:

    HUBBY: Earl Grey Tea with Lemon Juice + Bagels/English Muffins with fat free cream cheese spread, peanut butter or Cheez Whiz OR Rice Krispies cereal with skim milk

    MYSELF: Tetley Tea with Skim Milk & Equal + yogurt, apples, bananas or hard boiled eggs

    ==========================================================================================

    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: No lunch required – Staff BBQ in the park

    TUES: 3 Slices Leftover Pizza with French Onion Soup and a side of Wheat Thin Crackers

    WED: Refried Bean & Cheese Burritos with French Onion Soup and a yogurt

    THURS: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Creamy Tomato Soup and Strawberry-Pecan Bread

    FRI: Dijon Chicken Salad Wraps with sides of Greek Salad and Macaroni Salad

    SAT: Lunch at the Noodle House in North Vancouver with MIL and SIL for Mother’s Day (I’ll have Szechuan Green Beans & a steamed rice)

    SUN: Lunch in the US on our road trip – We are going for a walk at Boulevard Park. 🙂

    ==========================================================================================

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Taco Beef Bowl

    TUES: Leftover Steamed Vegetables and Rice for supper

    WED: Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Toast

    THURS: Large Green Salad with diced BBQ Chicken

    FRI: Broccoli Rice Casserole with Steamed Asparagus and Dijon Chicken Breasts

    SAT: Scalloped Ham & Cabbage Casserole with Roaster Potatoes & Onions

    SUN: Greek Salad

    ==========================================================================================

    • Hi Mary,
      What is a Taco beef bowl? At first I thought it was taco beef soup and I thought oh the wife would be able to eat it. That scalloped ham and cabbage casserole with roaster potatoes and onions sounds nice. Have you had it before? Great job getting the meat 50% off!! What will you make with the Turkey steaks? I’ve never heard of turkey steak before. I love how you took advantage of those cucumbers. Stockpiling veg is not something I’ve done before but if you know you are going to eat it up then it’s worth the savings. Cucumbers can skyrocket in price over $2 each. Great savings for you. The new rain check is great. The wife is starting back into tuna now which means I need to keep an eye out for a good sale. Well done… here’s to a lean May for the both of us. You get ballot #2. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        The Taco Beef Bowl is basically everything I would put in a beef taco except no taco shell…just served in a bowl. I use cooked onions, cooked coleslaw, de-seeded and cooked tomatoes, several hits of hot sauce, the beef and beans are cooked with taco seasoning, then toss it all together and sprinkle Tex Mex Cheese over it with a small dollop of sour cream as the crowning glory. It’s got all the goodies from a taco without the extra carbs and calories from adding the shell.

        The turkey steaks I just roasted up and made turkey salad for hubby to use making wraps for his lunches. They are kind of like chicken breasts on steroids in terms of size. They made some lovely lunches and there was enough leftover to make Turkey Caesar Salads. I’m always watching for chicken and turkey 50% off because I prefer to see him take that instead of beef or pork in his lunches but…you work with what you’ve got. 🙂

        Hubby loves Greek Salads so it’s not hard to use up cucumbers around our house – especially when I got red onions and peppers on sale last week. Opening Day for our Haney Farmer’s Market is this coming Saturday and at the end of the month, I’ll be in Abbotsford twice a week for my exercise classes for 12 weeks – right thru the summer growing season. There are several farm markets on the route. Cheaper fruits and veggies…here I come! Picture me doing a happy dance! 🙂

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    These recipes look mighty good!! I’ll be having a closer look on the laptop tonight so I can save/print off a few. I’ll have to see how many I can get the males around here to try. Might be handy to share with my daughter as the grandson isn’t eating meat these days. Cows are cute and he doesn’t want to eat the cute critters…..
    For your little fellow have you tried having a tray of cut up veggies, fruit and/or cheeses that he can pick and choose from for something to eat when he wants to eat?? If that is handy for him he just might eat more than you think he is eating…. Worth a try at least.
    Thanks for picking me for the winner for April!!!! I’ll get my address to you shortly!!! 🙂

  5. I go one step further and try and have a meatless meal every other day. I would like to have meatless meals even more frequently. I will try to increase them over the summer when my CSA (community shared agriculture is in full force) and I have more time (I am a teacher). I feel meatless meals are a win, win, win scenario. It is better for you, the environment and your budget! But I find some of my favorite meatless meals take more time to cook, which is my limiting factor. Time. My super quick cheap meatless meals go tos are: Breakfast for dinner (french toast, dutch pancakes, crepes), vegetarian pasta, tofu stir fry’s, vegetable cream soups with pizza bagels or buns, homemade mac and cheese ( full of vegetables).

  6. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 5400

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 450
    Grocery Shop This Week
    Safeway
    • organic salad blend- 3.49
    • bananas- 1.88
    • Pineapple 3.99 + %50 off from AM offers
    • Frozen peas- 2.79 + %50 off from AM offers
    • Salsa- 3.59
    • 3 X Taco kits at 3.99 each
    • Coconut greek yogurt 2 X3.50
    • Lemon greek yogurt =3.50 + %50 off from AM offers
    • Organic bread- 2 X 3.97
    • 2 L milk- 3.49
    • 2 X Butter- 3.99
    • White old cheddar- 7.99
    • Ground beef- 9.70
    • English muffins- 1.99
    • Arnold bread- 2 X3.99
    • 2 doz assorted bagels at 2 x 3.99 and %50 discount

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons or offers discounts used this week: $5.65
    • Total coupons used to date: $24.55
    • Total in-store discounts this week: 4.00
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $ 111.00
    • Total spent this week: 76.18
    • Total spent so far this month: $76.18
    • Total under spend for the year: 87.30
    • Total left to spend for the month: Total under spend for month- 373.82
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $1745.32
    • Total PC Points cashed to Date 2016- $20
    • Total Airmiles this week = 38
    • PC Points this week= N/A
    • Checkout 51 this week= N/A
    • Shoppers Optimum this week= N/A
    Weekly Overview : I missed last weeks grocery post, things were just too….. hectic. But I did add the shop into the relevant totals. I came in $2.13 under for the month, so I just made it. I guess that is a good indication that $450 per month is the right total for us at this time. We did have a splurge or two for the last shop of the month it was my hubby’s BD and he requested barbequed ribs and carrot cake. Not exactly budget food LOL.
    This grocery shop I had some good Air mile offers so I took advantage of those, pineapple, frozen peas, and yogurt. I do not buy ground beef very often but I had a real craving for tacos…. So tacos it was!
    I am looking forward to this weekend. My first CSA box will be ready. It is a spring box so will be full of organic, spinach, lettuce, greens radishes, maybe rhubarb and who knows what special goodies!!!!

    • Hi Rose,
      It’s going to be Taco Time at your house I see!! What is Arnold bread? If you fall behind a week on the GGC you can still post it to get your ballot. That’s no problem. That’s great news you came under for the month unlike a few of us who keep struggling. You’re right that is an indication you are at the right grocery budget for your family. We may just have to increase our budget if prices keep going up the way they are. I’d love to see a photo of your Spring box. We have so much rhubarb here and don’t know what to do with it. We’ve made cake and crisps and a sauce but that’s about it. What do you make with Rhubarb? Great shopping. You get ballot #4. MR.CBB

      • I cut up and freeze rhubarb, then, in autumn, when apples are plentiful and cheaper, i make “Yankee chutney” which my family love. Glad to share the recipe if you are interested.

  7. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 1 – May 1 – 7

    • Grocery budget to work with in April: $250
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $8.12
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.09
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $40
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $35
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $30
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $45
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $5.21
    • Total student discounts to date: $35.45
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $52.50
    • Total spent so far this month: $52.50
    • Total left to spend for the month: $197.50
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $1.00
    • Total overspent: $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $856.50

    Walmart: Milk 4.27: Total Paid 4.25

    RCSS: Limes 4/$1, canned green chiles 2.00, allens apple juice .99 (PM), burrito mix .99 (PM), NN refried beans 2.29, NN tomato sauce 1.29, NN canned corn .88, NN bacon bits 2.88, SOS cleaning pads 1.00 (PM), cheese 4.98, Eggs 18 pk 2.87 (PM), Gay Lea sour cream 1.49 (PM), Lettuce 2 x 1.00 (PM), cauliflower 1.79 (PM), mushrooms 2 x .99 (PM), potatoes 10lb 2.00, roma tomato club pack 4.00, bananas 1.69, green onions .99, bosc pears 2.03 (PM), English cucumber .77 (PM), red pepper 1.01, cilantro .78, strawberries 2.00 (PM), tortillas 2 x 3.00 combo buy, colgate toothpaste 1.98, less student discount 5.21, plus tax .35: Total Paid 46.80 rounded down 2 cents

    Walmart: Yoplait tubes 2 x 1.97, crispers 2 x 1.00, gelato 2.47, chips 4 x .97, garbage bags 6.27, windex 2 x 3.00 combo buy, grreenworks dish soap 2 x 2.00, less Neilsen Homescan visa cards 2 x 15.00: Total Paid 1.45 rounded up 1 cent
    This was a big week for us, but we managed to spend as little as possible. Thanks to the Neilsen Homescan visa $15 cards, we were able to get a few “fun” things at Walmart (aka junk food) along with yogurt, garbage bags, dish soap, windex. I tried the great value version of windex the last time I bought window cleaner and it was awful. I will buy the better stuff whenever I can. I may try the greenworks version at some point because I do like that brand, but not now, I really want to use up what I have left of the great value stuff and then get to some really clean mirrors and windows.

    We needed a lot of fruit and veggies this time. Our fridge was practically empty, it was sad. The volume of PM items helped bring our out of pocket amount way down compared to what it could have been. It’s a good start for the month, a little over the $50 target weekly, but with 5 weeks and at some point we will be able to cut it down again, this is completely reasonable. Next week we will need protein, so that could get costly. I will work on being creative getting the most for as little money as possible. We shall see!

    • Hi Angela,
      I’ve made refried beans before with black beans which turned out lovely. Have you ever made your own? That’s great that you are using the rewards from your Neilsen Homescan. Every little bit helps. I guess you can’t complain at $1.45 wow.. score. You get ballot #5 Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        We are planning to start making refried beans at home. Our son is a bit difficult about black bean for some reason rather than pinto bean, so I am thinking we need to get some to rehydrate. We have been slowly moving to the dried beans to rehydrate.

        I love the Neilsen Homescan and the random visa cards that have been showing up in the mail. Hubby wasn’t keen on it at first, he has changed his tune now!

  8. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $30
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 32100
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $6.50($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $14.75($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    3 12 pack Royale TP @4.77, 3X1.00 coupons
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 pack pasta -1.99
    1 a Temptations cat treats -1.79
    1 can pineapple tidbits -1.19
    1lb Gay Lea butter -6.49, 50% AM discount, 3.25
    1 block cheese -5.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1 Danone puddings -2.79, 1.00 coupon
    Bananas -1.43
    1 pack Johnsonville sausage -3.99
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, 50% AM discount, 1.25
    1 Sunmaid raisin bread -4.99, 50% AM discount 2.50
    1 bagels -4.19
    Tax -2.09
    Total OOP -$66.18, $4.00 coupons, $7.00 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    2 12 pack Royale TP @4.77, 2X1.00 coupon
    1 6pack Royale tissues -4.77, 1.00 coupon
    1 yogurt -2.99
    2 packs pasta @1.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    Bananas -.73
    1 container Parmesan cheese, grated -5.21
    Tax -1.86
    Total OOP -$46.54, $3.00 coupons
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    3 Militta coffee @1.99
    Total OOP -$5.97, Stock pile

    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $5.97
    Total coupons used this week: $7.00
    Total coupons used to date: $62.46
    Total in-store discounts this week:$7.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: $84.04
    Total spent this week: $112.72
    Total spent so far this month: $112.72
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month:under
    Total left to spend for the month: $537.28
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $584.23+ May $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    A good start to the month! The coffee was a nice find, $1.99 each regular $7.99. It’s close to it’s date but it won’t last all that long here. Once the can is open I keep it in the fridge. The Royale product was a good deal and having the coupons made it even better!! Given that hubby is prone to the runs due to meds and such having nice soft TP is a good thing!! Lol!! The Air Miles discounts were handy as well. Every little bit that will help my budget is good in my books!!! With this being a5 week month I need to be careful.

    • Hi Christine,
      Great price on the toilet paper. Where did you find the coupons? TMI about your husbands runny poo!! lol… My wife is on meds and they affect her as well. WOW you found butter 50% off, that’s new to me. I have to keep checking the Air Miles however we don’t often shop at Metro. Well done this week. You get ballot #6 Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        I get mailings of coupons from our own Juanita!!! The butter was an Air Miles discount and only good for one pound, but I can handle that!! These are offers they send me to load much like we do with the Shoppers Optimum or PC plus offers. I have seen offers in the Sobeys flyer so you might get lucky yet.

  9. Angela Mainse says:

    Our family tried the honey garlic baked cauliflower that is part of this post. Excellent. My coloration was much darker, but I may have put in extra soya sauce as I eyeballed the ingredients. Excellent dish, we will make it again!

  10. Rhubarb apple crisp is my all time favorite!

  11. How do I send you a pix? I took a picture of this weeks “box”.

    • You can email me canadianbudgetbinder @yahoo.ca without the space. I do that to keep spam away on the blog as they attack email addresses.

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